Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival and More This Weekend in Reston

The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which is now in its 28th year, continues this weekend at Reston Town Center. Artists from around the country will take part in this outdoor festival, which has attracted roughly 30,000 patrons annually.

Donations collected from the festival will go to the Greater Reston Arts Center. The festival is on for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on tomorrow and Sunday.

A festival party set tomorrow, which includes the 2019 Awards of Excellence, refreshments, entertainment, and more, is for members only. Attendees must be contributing supporters to receive a complimentary invitation to the event.

Tomorrow (May 18)

  • Baby Expo (9 a.m. to noon) — Learn about products, childcare resources and fund things to do with the family in this event at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. The expo is free and open to all.
  • Bookworms Club (11 a.m.) — Dive into reading “Pig the Stinky” and “Book hog” at Scrawl Books. Each week, readers explore a new theme and can participate at any time.
  • Relay for life of Reston-Herndon (2 p.m.) — Help race money to help the American Cancer Society fight cancer in this annual event, which takes place at South Lakes High School.
  • Habitat Heroes (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) — Volunteers can help remove invasive garlic mustard from the woods and stream banks at Old Trail Drive Natural Area. Spring is the best time to tackle this invasive plant that attacks native trees, ferns and wildflowers.
  • On That Note: Brand New Day (7-9 p.m.) — Sterling Playmakers will perform popular songs from musicals at this ticketed event at ArtSpace Herndon.

May 19

  • Luau on the Lake (1-4 p.m.) — Lake Anne Brew House is hosting what organizers are calling a “fun-filled, luau-themed afternoon” to benefit South Lakes High School’s food pantry. Attendees should bring non-perishable donations. A percentage of proceeds will go directly to the pantry.
  • Bringing Art to a New Town (7-9 p.m.) — Artist Pat Macintyre shares her story about her 1970s TV show and how Reston inspired her artwork. The event takes place at the Reston Museum. 

Photo by Don Renner

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Friday Morning Notes

Ridge Heights and North Shore Pools Opening This Weekend — The parking lot at Ridge Heights will be closed because of the Reston Youth Triathlon over the weekend, but the pools will be ready to go for opening weekend. [Reston Association]

Three-vehicle Crash Stalls Traffic Last Night — Units were on the scene of the crash on the Dulles Toll Road last night. One car was overturned and the center lane was blocked completely. Minor injuries were reported. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Storytime Social with Author Laura Gehl — Caregivers are invited to bring their little ones to Scrawl Books as Gehl reads from two of her board books. Coffee will be available for adults. The event begins today at 11 a.m. [Scrawl Books]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Connect Route 7 Public Meeting Tonight — State transportation officials are looking for feedback on their plans to widen seven miles of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive from four to six lanes. A meeting is set for tonight at 7 p.m. at Forestville Elementary School in Great Falls. [Connect Route 7]

Local Investor’s Ties to Beyond Meat — “Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat Inc. had one of the most impressive initial public offerings in nearly two decades — but it was the company’s dedication to the science behind making a non-meat burger or sausage taste good that first drew in John Backus, co-founder and managing partner of Reston-based Proof.VC. [Washington Business Journal]

Deadline Extended for Fairfax County Parkway Survey — If you haven’t yet given feedback on planned improvements on the parkway, you still have a chance to do so online. State and county transportation officials have extended the deadline of an online survey to May 20. [Fairfax County Government]

Create Giant Paper Flowers Today — Scrawl Books is hosting a Reston Community Workshop on making giant paper flowers with cardstock tonight at 6 p.m. Registration is $40 for residents and $60 for all others. [Scrawl Books]

Photo by Tom J.

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Author, Musician to Mark Book Releases With Reston Regional Library Performance

Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander and musician Randy Preston will team up on Saturday (April 6) for a performance at the Reston Regional Library.

The free show at from 2-4 p.m. 11925 Bowman Towne Drive will celebrate the paperback release of Alexander’s “Booked” and “The Crossover” in addition to the release of Alexander’s newest picture book called “The Undefeated.”

Books will be available for purchase, and a limited number of free copies will be given to Fairfax County Public School educators at the event, which is hosted in partnership with the Reston Regional Library and Scrawl Books.

Photo via Reston Regional Library

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Scrawl Books Shares Favorite Books by Local Authors

(Updated at 10:45 a.m. on April 8) Scrawl Books, an independent bookstore in Reston, wants readers to pick up books written by local authors.

The book store first opened in 2015 at Wiehle Metro before moving to its current spot in Reston Town Center at 11911 Freedom Drive.

Along with its broad selection of titles for kids, teens and adult, Scrawl Books hosts weekly events to bring book lovers together for social hours, story time for kids and book clubs.

Reston Now asked Scrawl Books to share some favorite books about Reston or written by local authors. Here’s what the staff recommended, including two authors from Great Falls — L. M. Elliott and Angie Kim, and another book by Reston author Kwame Alexander.

“Hamilton and Peggy” by L. M. Elliott  

Description: L. M. Elliott has researched and written several historical fiction novels for Young Adults, but they are fantastic reads for anyone who loves a great story, history and suspense.

Why we like her: Her book “Hamilton and Peggy” tells about a relatively unknown figure from the Hamilton narrative, Peggy Schuyler. Through Peggy, Elliott proves that girl power was always a thing — even during the Revolutionary War.

The book costs $17.99 at Scrawl Books.

“Miracle Creek” by Angie Kim 

Description: This debut author’s first book, “Miracle Creek” hits the shelves in April, and it is an outstanding, character-driven drama. The story is told through a murder trial, but delves deep into the back story of each character and offers several different perspectives on a controversial medical treatment, cultural differences and our perceptions or misperceptions of people and circumstances.

Why we like her: Her characters are fascinating and the mystery holds up right to the end.

The book costs $17.99 at Scrawl Books.

“The Undefeated” by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Description: The Newbery winner composes novels in verse and poems for a younger audience (mostly middle grade and Young Adult), but his work is so compelling that readers of all ages find it difficult to resist and impossible to forget.  His latest book, “The Undefeated” is based on a poem about black life that originally aired on ESPN and made an incredible impact.  The book is even better!

Why we like him: His writing style is unique and his ability to tell a story is amazing. His support of the local community is immeasurable, and he goes out of his way to inspire kids (and adults) to read and write.

The book costs $17.99 at Scrawl Books.

Photos via Scrawl Books

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Friday Morning Notes

“Storytime Social!” — Parents, caregivers and kids can join Scrawl Books’ storytime social hour, which includes coffee for the adults and stories for the kids. The event starts at 11 a.m. [Scrawl Books]

Reston Friends Children and Educators Book Sale — From 10 a.m.-5 pm., locals can browse and buy children’s book and teaching materials at the Reston Regional Library. [Fairfax County]

Herndon startup raised millions — Herndon-based DocASAP, which aims to streamline the process of scheduling doctor’s appointments and physician-to-physician referrals, has raised $14 million from multiple investors, which it plans to use to expand its network of healthcare providers. The health tech firm also recently partnered with the Florida Orthopaedic Institute. [DC Inno]

Darwin Martinez-Torres sentenced — The 23-year-old has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to raping and killing 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen in June 2017. [WTOP, Reston Now]

Kids’ Trout Fishing Day recap — If you missed the Reston Association’s annual event at Snakeden Stream last Saturday (March 23), this article shares details about the day. [Connection Newspapers]

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Wednesday Morning Notes

 

FCPS statement — Fairfax County Public Schools recently released a statement on seclusion and restraint after “special education advocates, concerned parents and community members have raised concerns in light of recent media reports.” [FCPS]

YP Connections events — Head to Founding Farmers from 5:30-7:30 p.m. for a networking event. Registration closes at noon, and tickets cost $15 for chamber members or $25 for guests. Light refreshments and one drink ticket will be provided. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Get Woke! Book Club — Scrawl Books has a progressive book club that focuses on reading titles that cover timely political issues. This month’s book is “Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal” by Aviva Chomsky. The discussion starts at 7 p.m. [Scrawl Books]

Photo courtesy Navid 

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Friday Morning Notes

“Storytime Social” — Moms, dads, caregivers and kids are invited to Scrawl Book’s social hour at 11 a.m. today. There will be coffee for the adults. [Scrawl Books]

Reston business news — Reston-based trucking software developer Trucker Tools raised more than $3 million from a single investor toward a $5 million Series B equity round. The company will partner with J.J. Keller & Associates for truck-location data in its app. [Cision]

Movie time — The Reston Regional Library’s Great Decisions Series asks locals to the film produced by the Foreign Policy Association and then participate in the roundtable discussion on current events and U.S. foreign policy options.  The topic for March is “Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future.” [Fairfax County]

No Rammys for Reston — “The nominations are in for the 2019 RAMMY awards, and unfortunately, Reston restaurants were completely shut out.” [Reston Patch]

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Thursday Morning Notes

“Fallen Angels” starts — NextStop Theatre Company’s production of the Noel Coward comedy hits the stage tonight. [NextStop Theatre Company]

Checkmate — McNair Elementary School finished second in the K-5 category of the Virginia Scholastic Chess Championships. The McNair also placed third in the K-8 category. [FCPS]

Lake Audubon dredging update — The dredging project is still on track for completion in April. [Reston Association/YouTube]

Girl Power! Book Club tonight — Middle-grade readers can head to Scrawl Books at 7 p.m. to talk about “Front Desk.” [Scrawl Books]

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‘The Wolves’ and More This Weekend in Reston

Sunday is your last chance to watch NextStop Theatre Company’s final performances of “The Wolves” — a comedy about the lives of high school girls at their daily soccer warm-ups.

Written by Sarah DeLappe, the play was a recent finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

The show tonight (Feb. 22) starts at 8 p.m. at 269 Sunset Park Drive. Tomorrow, the curtain rises at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The last two shows on Sunday start at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets cost between $35-$60, depending on the demand.

Tomorrow (Feb. 23)

  • All Gardeners’ Meeting (10 a.m.-noon) — Users of Reston’s community garden plots can attend the annual All Gardeners’ meeting, which will include two guest speakers and light refreshments, at the Reston Association’s headquarters. Discussion topics will include soil management, gardening with return on investments and gardening tips.
  • Bored out of your Gourd (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) — Head over to Frying Pan Farm Park to make a birdhouse out of gourds the farm grew last year. The program costs $14 per person.
  • Book Talk with Ralph Savarese (4:30-6:30 p.m.) — The author will join a panel of nonspeaking autistic students at ArtSpace Herndon.
  • Reston Runners Annual Meeting and Dinner (6 p.m.) — The running group will meet at RCC Hunters Woods Village Center.

Sunday (Feb. 24)

  • Meet Jason Michael Primrose (12:15 p.m.) — Jason Michael Primrose will introduce his latest sci-fi creation at Scrawl Books.
  • Bird Walks (8-11 a.m.) — Beginning and expert birders are invited to search for birds around Reston. The walks start at the Lake Newport tennis courts.
  • Maple Syrup Boil-Down (noon-2 p.m.) — Head to Colvin Run Mill to learn how sap is boiled down into syrup. Participants will get to taste some maple syrup. Tickets cost $5 per person.
  • Annual NOVA Band Jam (4:30 p.m.) — Support the South Lakes High School at their performance at Ned Devine’s in Herndon. Tickets cost $5 for students and $10 for adults.

Photo via NextStop Theatre Company/Facebook

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‘Galentine’s Party’ Fundraiser and More This Weekend in Reston

Valentine’s Day is come and gone, but Scrawl Books plans to keep spreading love with a fundraiser this Sunday (Feb. 17).

The post-Valentine’s “Galentine’s Party” — which originated from an episode about female friendship on the show “Parks and Recreation” — will benefit Cornerstones and the Laurel Learning Program.

Authors Orly Konig and Erika Marks will discuss books, writing and life, according to the event description. The fundraiser will also have raffles and giveaways.

Interested? The fundraiser runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at 11911 Freedom Drive. Scrawl Books asks for a $10 suggested donation at the door.

Tomorrow (Feb. 16)

  • Raptors Up Close (11 a.m.-noon) — Locals can join naturalists at the Walker Nature Center for programs designed for a mix of ages. Participants will be able to take an exploratory hike, explore outside or participate in an indoor Nature House program to learn about the natural world. Costs range from $7 to $9 per person.
  • Glowing LED Artworks (2-3 p.m.) — Observe light and sculpture using LED’s, batteries and art materials. and then create your own at the Reston Regional Library. The event is for kids ages 6 to 11.
  • Astronomy Festival (6 p.m.) — The Observatory at Turner Farm Park in Great Falls will have guided stargazing, telescope viewing and listening to ancient stories about constellations around a campfire. Hot chocolate and snacks will also be available for purchase. The cost is $8 per person if you register online before the event and $10 at the door.
  • Stage Reading “Haint So” (7:30-9:30 p.m.) — The original work explores “the rich tradition of folklore, superstition and the mystical spirits of the dark mountains in Virginia,” according to the event description. Intrigued? Register for the ArtSpace Herndon event.

Sunday (Feb. 17)

  • Walk or run (8 a.m.) — Join the group for either a 3- or 6-mile walk, a 10-mile run or a 12-mile trail run. Bring your running shoes to the South Lakes Village Center.
  • Herndon Library Board Games (1-2:30 p.m.) — Adults are invited to play classic board games. No registration is necessary.
  • Full Moon Nature Hike and Campfire (5:30-7:30 p.m.) — Locals can explore nature while a naturalist guide will point out signs of creatures in the woods at Riverbend Park in Great Falls. Participants can enjoy a campfire with s’mores after the hike. The cost is $9 per person.

File photo

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Thursday Morning Notes

Happy Valentine’s Day — Hundreds of locals from Reston and Herndon recently created 10,000 handwritten valentines as part of volunteering efforts for two initiatives produced by the Barbara Foundation of Reston. [Connection Newspapers]

Girl Power! Book Club — Book lovers can share their love of reading and head to Scrawl Books to discuss “Into White” by Randi Pink at 7 p.m. [Scrawl Books]

Reston company nabs NASA IT contract — “Leidos Holdings Inc. has been awarded an information technology contract with NASA potentially worth almost $3 billion that it’s calling a ‘marquee’ win.” [Washington Business Journal]

Money and politics — The candidates vying for the 86th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates recently disclosed their campaign finances. Democrat Ibraheem Samirah has raised the most — $73,243 — followed by Republican Gregg Nelson, who has raised $23,359. [VAPAP]

Fire at Herndon home — Crews responded to a fire in the 2100 block of Oram Place around 2:30 a.m. The fire was in the basement and extended to parts of the upper floors. The fire is now out and no injuries have been reported. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

P.S. — Reston Now recently rounded up several Valentine’s Day events this week. Some of them are happening today.

Photo via J. Sibiga Photography/Flickr pool

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Award-Winning Bird Photos and More This Weekend in Reston

There’s plenty to do around Reston and Herndon this weekend. Audubon enthusiasts can enjoy a recently opened exhibit showcasing award-winning bird photography.

The Audubon Photography Awards Show opened today (Feb. 8) at the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive). The exhibit displays the winning bird photographs from the 2018 Audubon Photography Awards, which were selected from more than 8,000 entries submitted by photographers across the country, along with opportunities to learn more about local birdlife.

The exhibit is set to have a free open house on Sunday (Feb. 10) from 1-3 p.m. where visitors will be able to meet representatives from Nature’s Best Photography, which helped to judge the international competition. Visitors can take part in bird walks and activities, along with enjoying refreshments.

“We were thrilled to be selected as a host site of this amazing traveling show for a second year,” Nature Center Manager Katie Shaw told Reston Now, adding that the partnership with Audubon Society of Northern Virginia has many Reston members who share a passion for “the feathered wonders of this beautiful world.”

The exhibit focuses on the many bird species protected under the 100-year-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It will run until Feb. 27.

“We know that everyone who comes over to see the exhibit will get a fresh view on a some familiar species as well as an eye opener to species perhaps never seen before,” Shaw said.

Tomorrow (Feb. 9)

  • Handmade Valentine Card Workshop (9:30-11 a.m.) — The Greater Reston Arts Center will lead a workshop for participants to create cards. Tickets cost $5 for Restonians.
  • 10th Annual Fine Art Photography Competition Reception (7-9 p.m.) — Arts Herndon is presenting an exhibit featuring finalists in the annual Fine Art Photography Competition.
  • Bookworms Club! with Sue Fliess (11 a.m.) — Head to Scrawl Books for a book club event for young readers. Sue Fliess will read her new book “Ninja Camp” and others.
  • In Their Own Words: STRETCH curator’s talk” (3 p.m.) — Co-curators Erica Harrison and Don Russell will discuss the process of organizing “STRETCH” and their thoughts on trends in contemporary art practice. The event is free.
  • Ride with Reston Bike Club (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) — Join the Reston Bike Club for a bike ride starting from ArtSpace Herndon’s parking lot.
  • An Evening with Broadway Legend Baayork Lee (8 p.m.) — Lee will talk about her career, the state of Broadway today and her work with the National Asian Artists Project, a nonprofit which showcases works by artists of Asian descent, at CenterStage. Tickets cost $15 for Restonians and $20 for everyone else.

Sunday (Feb. 10)

  • Walk or run with Reston Runners (8 a.m.) — Join the Reston Runners for either a 3-mile walk, 6-mile walk or 10-mile run starting from the Sunset Hills Commuter Lot.
  • Sunday Afternoon Dance (2:30-4:30 p.m.) — Dancers of all skill levels can learn how to foxtrot, swing, cha-cha and waltz at RCC Hunters Woods. Partners are not required. Tickets cost $5 for Restonians and $10 for everyone else.
  • Country Western Dance (5:30-8 p.m.) — Participants can take part in line dance, two-step, shuffle and swing to popular country western tunes played by RCC’s DJ at RCC Hunters Woods. Tickets cost $5 for Restonians and $10 for everyone else.

Photos courtesy of Nature Center 

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Wine Wednesday — Discuss our favorite books while sipping wine starting at 6 p.m. at the Tasting Room in Reston Town Center. [Scrawl Books]

Hunter Mill seat contenders — “In the Hunter Mill District, home to both Reston and Vienna, current member Cathy Hudgins is retiring. The three declared candidates, thus far, all have platforms which argue the county has been too favorable to development in Reston.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Silver Line train tests — “There were no passengers, of course, but Metrorail trains made their first pass of the Silver Line extension between Reston and Ashburn early Wednesday morning.” [Washington Business Journal]

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Bird Count Workshop and More This Weekend in Reston

Locals are encouraged to get outside and take part in a bird watch and count.

Participants can head to the National Wildlife Federation (11100 Wildlife Center Drive) for a free workshop with some tips and tricks ahead of the Great Backyard Bird Count next week.

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online project for citizens to collect and display data on wild birds in near real-time, according to the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.

Bird enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to take part in the four-day count each February.

Tomorrow (Feb. 2)

  • Stuff the Bus (9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) — Head to the Village Center at Dulles Giant (2425 Centreville Road) in Herndon to support LINK as a part of “Stuff the Bus,” which takes place at various locations around the county to benefit local nonprofit food pantries.
  • Coffee and Conversation with DaMaris Hill (11 a.m.) — DaMaris Hill will discuss “A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing” at Scrawl Books (11777 N. Shore Drive). The book dives into how American women of color are burdened by incarceration by tackling issues of racial injustice, police brutality and mass incarceration, along with the historical legacy of incarcerated black women that precedes it.
  • Three Moves to Divine” (11 a.m.-4 p.m. ) — The exhibit, which provided photographic memory of Ghana by Randy Preston, closes at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street).
  • Great Backyard Bird Count Workshop (1-3 p.m.) — The free workshop at the National Wildlife Federation (11100 Wildlife Center Drive) will teach participants how to count and report the count for the Great Backyard Bird Watch, which will take place from Feb. 15-18. Registration is required.
  • Superior Donuts” (2 p.m.) — Reston Community Players’ production closes Saturday afternoon at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
  • South Lakes HS 14th annual Broadway Night (2-4 p.m., 7-10 p.m.) — The South Lakes High School Choral Department will feature numbers from some of Broadway’s most popular revivals including “Pippin,” “Chicago,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Godspell” and more. The Broadway-style show is performed by more than 120 students from South Lakes High School and its pyramid schools. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors.

Sunday (Feb. 3)

  • Sunday Cruise Ride (10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) — Join the Reston Bike Club for a ride. Three different routes are available. Participants are set to meet in the ArtSpace Herndon parking lot.
  • Digital photography class (1-5 p.m.) — Photographer Mary Louise Ravese will show participants with a digital SLR (DSLR) or mirror-less camera the five most essential camera settings that have the most impact on the look of a photograph during the class at ArtSpace Herndon.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr pool 

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